10122014Headline:

Kahkaha!

Women across Turkey are posting photos of themselves laughing and smiling on social media. Why?

Women should not laugh in public. So said Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc in a speech on Monday about “moral corruption” in Turkey. “Chastity is so important,” he said. “She will not laugh in public.”

His comments have prompted a big backlash from women on social media in Turkey, with thousands posting photos of themselves laughing and smiling on Twitter and Instagram. There have been more than 300,000 tweets using the term “kahkaha” – the Turkish word for “laughter” – and on the hashtags “Resist Laughing” (#direnkahkaha) and “Resist Woman” (#direnkadin).

Many suggested the government should focus on issues like rape, domestic violence and the marriage of girls at a young age – rather than women laughing in public.

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